It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 2021 Hailsham Festival, a celebration of talent, creativity and imagination rooted in Hailsham and its surrounding areas. 

This year we had decided to hold only a small number of face-to-face events with the majority still being online. However, the enthusiasm with which the team embraced the lifting of restrictions meant that in no time at all we found ourselves presenting over 30 events! So much for the cautious approach – but then, the arts are all about risk-taking!

Once again, we are inviting members of the community to share and showcase their creative achievements in our galleries and publications. Over 70 people participated in 2020 and we hope that a similar number will do so again. You  will be able to see the results in our Virtual Art Trail  which will launch on September 4th and our Poetry and Short Story Anthology which will be available to buy as an e-book and in print.

We are also encouraging children under 14 years of age to upload photographs of any art they had made during the period of lockdown. The Children’s Lockdown Art Gallery features images they have created during the months of Coronavirus Lockdown and is an ongoing project.

The acclaimed poet and broadcaster, Roger McGough will be presenting a Showcase Concert of our Community Musical, String! on Saturday, September 18th – this is probably the most ambitious project we have ever commissioned and is a must-see. Don’t miss it! Tickets will be on sale from Hailsham Pavilion in late July.

The arts represent a vital component of our culture, enriching our community and creating a vibrant landscape from which we all benefit. Thank you for all your support over the years – we hope to make next year bigger and even better! Please take good care of yourselves at this challenging time.

Tony Biggin

Hailsham Festival Chair